Earlier this month, well-known comic Joan Rivers died. The 81-year-old Ms. Rivers had earlier undergone an elective endoscopy procedure at a clinic in Manhattan. While at the clinic, Ms. Rivers experienced medical complications and went into cardiac arrest. She was taken to a hospital where, a week later, she died.
Subsequent to this sad event, the clinic issued a statement regarding their handling of Ms. Rivers’ medical treatment. In the statement, the clinic addressed the method with which anesthesia was employed, whether or not a vocal cord biopsy had been performed, and when the cardiac arrest occurred. It also directed attention to the question of whether, due to her age, Ms. Rivers would have been better served receiving care in a hospital.
The clinic’s statement clarified their anesthesia methodology, denied that a biopsy had taken place and that the advent of the cardiac arrest occurred after the procedure. The clinic also described their screening process that informs the decision of whether they or hospital should treat a patient.
At present, the New York State Health Department is performing an investigation. When a loved one dies while under the care of a medical facility, the results of an instigation may contribute to the family’s decision to seek legal action.
Medical care facilities have a responsibility to practice due diligence in providing an acceptable standard of care. Deviation from that standard that contributes to the injury or death of a patient may be considered negligence, which can provide grounds for a malpractice lawsuit.
The severity of harm caused by the negligence of a medical staff member can be extreme. A victim of mismanaged care may suffer long-term or permanent injuries, which can give rise to expensive medical treatment.
Though this incident occurred in New York, residents of Montana can still be victim to medical malpractice. If you or a family member have been injured by negligence at a health care facility, a medical malpractice attorney located in Montana may be able to help you pursue compensation.
Source: CNN, "Timeline emerges in Joan Rivers' death,” Susan Candiotti, Susanna Capelouto, Sept. 13, 2014